Thursday, October 22, 2020

Saint October 23 : St. John of Capistrano - a Papal Legate and Patron of Judges who Died in 1456 in modern Croatia

St. John of Capistrano

June 24, 1386, Capestrano, Abruzzi, Kingdom of Naples
October 23, 1456, Ilok, modern Croatia
1690 or 1724, Rome by either Pope Alexander VIII or Pope Benedict XIII
Patron of:

Born at Capistrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died 23 October, 1456. His father had come to Naples in the train of Louis of Anjou, hence is supposed to have been of French blood, though some say he was of German origin. His father dying early, John owed his education to his mother. She had him at first instructed at home and then sent him to study law at Perugia, where he achieved great success under the eminent legist, Pietro de Ubaldis. In 1412 he was appointed governor of Perugia by Ladislaus, King of Naples, who then held that city of the Holy See. As governor he set himself against civic corruption and bribery. War broke out in 1416 between Perugia and the Malatesta. John was sent as ambassador to propose peace to the Malatesta, who however cast him into prison. It was during this imprisonment that he began to think more seriously about his soul. He decided eventually to give up the world and become a Franciscan Friar, owing to a dream he had in which he saw St. Francis and was warned by the saint to enter the Franciscan Order. John had married a wealthy lady of Perugia immediately before the war broke out, but as the marriage was not consummated he obtained a dispensation to enter religion, which he did 4 October, 1416.
 After he had taken his vows he came under the influence of St. Bernardine of Siena, who taught him theology: he had as his fellow-student St. James of the Marches. He accompanied St. Bernardine on his preaching tours in order to study his methods, and in 1420, whilst still in deacon's orders, was himself permitted to preach. But his apostolic life began in 1425, after he had received the priesthood. From this time until his death he laboured ceaselessly for the salvation of souls. He traversed the whole of Italy; and so great were the crowds who came to listen to him that he often had to preach in the public squares. At the time of his preaching all business stopped. At Brescia on one occasion he preached to a crowd of one hundred and twenty-six thousand people, who had come from all the neighbouring provinces. On another occasion during a mission, over two thousand sick people were brought to him that he might sign them with the sign of the Cross, so great was his fame as a healer of the sick. Like St. Bernardine of Siena he greatly propagated devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, and, together with that saint, was accused of heresy because of this devotion. While he was thus carrying on his apostolic work, he was actively engaged in assisting St. Bernardine in the reform of the Franciscan Order. In 1429 John, together with other Observant friars, was cited to Rome on the charge of heresy, and he was chosen by his companions to defend their cause; the friars were acquitted by the commission of cardinals.
After this, Pope Martin V conceived the idea of uniting the Conventual Friars Minor and the Observants, and a general chapter of both bodies of Franciscans was convoked at Assisi in 1430. A union was effected, but it did not last long. The following year the Observants held a chapter at Bologna, at which John was the moving spirit. According to Gonzaga, John was about this time appointed commissary general of the Observants, but his name does not appear among the commissaries and vicars in Holzapfel's list (Manuale Hist. Ord. FF. Min., 624-5) before 1443. But it was owing to him that St. Bernardine was appointed vicar-general in 1438. Shortly after this, whilst visiting France he met St. Colette, the reformer of the Second Franciscan Order or Poor Clares, with whose efforts he entirely sympathized. He was frequently employed on embassies by the Holy See. In 1439 he was sent as legate to Milan and Burgundy, to oppose the claims of the antipope Felix V; in 1446 he was on a mission to the King of France; in 1451 he went at the request of the emperor as Apostolic nuncio to Austria. During the period of his nunciature John visited all parts of the empire, preaching and combatting the heresy of the Hussites; he also visited Poland at the request of Casimir IV. In 1454 he was summoned to the Diet at Frankfort, to assist that assembly in its deliberation concerning a crusade against the Turks for the relief of Hungary: and here, too, he was the leading spirit. When the crusade was actually in operation John accompanied the famous Hunyady throughout the campaign: he was present at the battle of Belgrade, and led the left wing of the Christian army against the Turks. He was beatified in 1694, and canonized in 1724. He wrote many books, chiefly against the heresies of his day.
SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia

Free Catholic Movie : Pope John Paul II - with Albert Finney - #JP2

This film's timeline begins with the death of Pope John Paul I on September 29, 1978, and then flashes back to Karol Wojtyła as a young man growing up decades earlier in Wadowice, Poland. The storyline then returns slowly back to 1978, covering Wojtyła's early life, family relationships, his political involvements fighting against Nazism during World War II and struggling against post-World War II Communism in Poland, and his relationship and involvement in the Roman Catholic Church as he becomes a priest, a bishop, a cardinal, and is eventually installed as a pope.
 Pope John Paul II is a 1984 American biopic drama TV movie based on the life of Karol Wojtyła, from his early days as an activist in Poland to his installation as Pope John Paul II. Written by Christopher Knopf and directed by Herbert Wise, the film stars Albert Finney, Robert Austin, Caroline Bliss, Brian Cox, and John Forgeham. The film marks both Albert Finney's American television debut and the first script Finney had ever turned down upon initial reading. (Source: Summary from Youtube channel)

Top 10 Saint Pope John Paul II Quotes to SHARE - #JP2 We Love You!

 1. "Trust Christ because Christ trusts you" (World Youth Day 2002).
2. "Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure."
3. "Faith and Reason are like two wings of the human spirit by which is soars to the truth.” 
4. “I plead with you! Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.

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5. “Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace...Peace will be the last word of history.”
6. “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.” 
7.  “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” (WYD, Closing Homily, 5)
8. “The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love.” (Downsview Address, 4) 
9. “Dear young people, let yourselves be taken over by the light of Christ, and spread that light wherever you are.” (Downsview Address, 5) 7. 
10. " And if, in the depths of your hearts, you feel the same call to the priesthood or consecrated life, do not be afraid to follow Christ on the royal road of the Cross!” (Closing Homily, 5) 

2 New Bishops Appointed Posts in Canada - Bishop Burnette to Toronto and Bishop Dowd to Sault Sainte Marie

The Pope accepted the resignation of the Bishop of the Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto of the Slovaks of the Byzantine rite (Canada) and appointment of the Apostolic Administrator see vacant.

The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite (Canada) by HE Mgr. Marián Andrej Pacák C.SS.R., and appointed Apostolic Administrator headquarters vacancy of the same circumscription HE Msgr. Kurt R. Burnette, Bishop of Passaic dei Ruteni (USA).

Pope Francis also appointed Bishop Thomas Dowd to the Diocese of Sault Sainte Marie in Canada.

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Thomas Dowd as the new Bishop of Sault Sainte Marie, Canada, transferring him from the titular See of Treba and the office of Auxiliary of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Montreal.

Bishop Thomas Dowd was born on September 11, 1970, in Lachine, Montreal. Before entering the seminary, he obtained a University Diploma in International Trade from Concordia University of Montreal.

 Bishop Dowd studied at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal, which was affiliated with the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, from which he received degrees in Philosophy, Theology and Divinity in 1997, 2000, and 2002 respectively. He also received a Licentiate in Theology from the Université de Montréal in 2002. Bishop Dowd was ordained a priest on 7 December 2001.

He worked as part of the diocesan curia as Associate Director for the Office of Pastoral Personnel, and as Director of the Diocesan Formation Services. 

On July 11, 2011, he was appointed titular Bishop of Treba and Auxiliary of Montreal, and was consecrated on September 10, 2011.

At the Episcopal Conference of Canada,  Bishop Dowd is Chairman of the Committee on Canon Law and Representative of the Apostleship of the Sea.

Edited from and

Novena Prayer for the US Elections Issued by US Catholic Bishops to Pray for the Nation - FULL TEXT

2020 Election Novena 
 Bearing in mind our nation’s challenges and the need for wise, moral, civic leadership, the USCCB is offering an electronic Election Novena to help Catholics form their consciences as they prepare for the upcoming election.
SEE ALSO : Guide for Formation of Conscience Issued by US Bishops:

 For nine consecutive days, Monday, October 26 through Tuesday, November 3, participants will be encouraged to pray one
 Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the day’s intention. 
A closing prayer for elected leaders will be offered on day 10, Wednesday, November 4. 
Day One: Monday, October 26 As we prepare for the national & local elections, in the midst of a global pandemic, may our political engagement be guided by our Catholic faith. 
Day Two: Tuesday, October 27 In this month of the Holy Rosary, may Our Blessed Mother guide us in confronting racial inequalities and restoring peace in our communities. 
Day Three: Wednesday, October 28 May all Americans recall the necessity of dialogue, civility, and humility in this election season. 
Day Four: Thursday, October 29 May all people understand the moral and ethical dimensions of political decisions and decide accordingly. 
Day Five: Friday, October 30 May voters & elected leaders uphold the dignity of every human life in their political engagement. 
Day Six: Saturday, October 31 May Catholics recall all aspects of Catholic social teaching as they consider their votes. Day Seven: Sunday, November 1 May there be a transformation of politics to focus on the dignity of the human person and the common good. 
Day Eight: Monday, November 2 May we keep in mind the gift of religious freedom and our duty to defend and exercise it as faithful citizens. 
Day Nine: Tuesday, November 3 Today, as we approach the polls, may we understand & embrace the principles of our faith that guide our political engagement. Closing: Wednesday, November 4 May the leaders elected this week be guided by the Holy Spirit as they fulfill their positions.

Holy See and China Renew their Provisional Agreement for 2 Years Regarding the Appointment of Bishops

Vatican News reports that the Holy See and China have renewed their Provisional Agreement for 2 years.

Vatican News: 

The announcement was made through a statement issued by the Holy See Press Office: “The initial application has been positive, thanks to the good communication and cooperation between the parties”. An article follows that will be published in today’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano to explain the motivations behind the decision.

The Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China regarding the appointment of Bishops was signed in Beijing on September 22, 2018. That Agreement expires today since it went into effect one month later, with the term of two years ad experimentum. As this date drew near, the two parties evaluated various aspects of the Agreement’s application, and through an official exchange of Note Verbali, have agreed to prolong the term for another two years, until October 22, 2022. Therefore, the renewal of the Provisional Agreement seems to be a propitious occasion to explore its objective and motivations.

The primary objective of the Provisional Agreement regarding the appointment of Bishops in China is that of sustaining and promoting the proclamation of the Gospel in that land, restoring the full and visible unity of the Church. In fact, the primary motivations that have guided the Holy See in this process, in dialogue with the Government leaders of that country, are fundamentally of an ecclesiological and pastoral nature. The question regarding the appointment of Bishops is of vital importance for the life of the Church, both at the local as well as at the universal levels. In this regard, Vatican Council II, in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, stated that “Jesus Christ, the eternal Shepherd, established His holy Church, having sent forth the apostles as He Himself had been sent by the Father (see John 20:21); and He willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world. And in order that the episcopate itself might be one and undivided, He placed Blessed Peter over the other apostles, and instituted in him a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion” (Lumen Gentium, 18).

This fundamental teaching regarding the particular role of the Supreme Pontiff within the Episcopal College and in the appointment of Bishops itself, inspired the negotiations and was a point of reference in the drafting of the text of the Agreement. Thus will be ensured, little by little as things go forward, both the unity of faith and the communion among the Bishops, as well as being able to completely be at the service of the Catholic community in China. As of today, for the first time after many decades, all of the Bishops in China are in communion with the Bishop of Rome and, thanks to the implementation of the Agreement, there will be no more illegitimate ordinations.

It should, however, be noted that all the open issues or situations that are still of concern for the Church have not been treated in the Agreement, but solely the issue of episcopal appointments, which is decisive and essential to guarantee the ordinary life of the Church in China, as in all other parts of the world. His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, recently spoke about “The Catholic Church in China, past and present” at a Convention held in Milan this month for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the PIME missionaries in Henan. On that occasion, he pointed out that various misunderstandings had arisen regarding the Provisional Agreement. Many of them originated because extraneous objectives or unrelated events regarding the life of the Catholic Church in China were attributed to the Agreement and it was even connected to political issues that have nothing to do with the actual Agreement. Recalling that the Agreement exclusively concerns the appointment of Bishops, Cardinal Parolin stated he is aware of the existence of various problems regarding the life of the Catholic Church in China, but also that it is impossible to confront all the issues together.

The stipulation of the Agreement, therefore, constitutes the destination point of a long journey undertaken by the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, but it is also and above all the point of departure for broader and more far-sighted agreements. The Provisional Agreement, the text of which, given its experimental nature, has been consensually kept confidential, is the fruit of an open and constructive dialogue. This dialogic posture, nourished by respect and friendship, is strongly willed and promoted by the Holy Father. Pope Francis is well aware of the wounds the Church’s communion has sustained in the past, and after years of prolonged negotiations that his Predecessors had begun and carried on and indubitably in continuity with their thought, he has re-established full communion with the Chinese Bishops who were ordained without the necessary Pontifical mandate and authorized the signing of the Agreement regarding the appointment of Bishops, which had already been approved by Pope Benedict XVI in draft form.

Cardinal Parolin emphasized that the current dialogue between the Holy See and China has age-old roots and is the continuation of a journey begun a long time ago. The last Pontiffs, in fact, sought that which Pope Benedict XVI described as the overcoming of the heavy “situation of misunderstandings and incomprehension” that serves neither the “interests of…the Chinese authorities nor the Catholic Church in China”. Citing his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, he wrote in 2007: “It is no secret that the Holy See, in the name of the whole Catholic Church and, I believe, for the benefit of the whole human family, hopes for the opening of some form of dialogue with the authorities of the People's Republic of China. Once the misunderstandings of the past have been overcome, such a dialogue would make it possible for us to work together for the good of the Chinese People and for peace in the world” (Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful of the Catholic Church of the People’s Republic of China, no. 4).

Some sectors of international politics have sought to analyze the Holy See’s work primarily along geopolitical lines. Regarding the scope of the Provisional Agreement, instead, the Holy See views it as a profoundly ecclesiological issue, in conformity with two principles stated thus: “Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia” (Saint Ambrose, “Where Peter is, there is the Church”) and “Ubi episcopus, ibi Ecclesia” (Saint Ignatius of Antioch, “Where the Bishop is, there is the Church”). Moreover, there also exists an awareness that the dialogue between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China favors the search for the common good for the benefit of the entire international community.

Specifically with this intention, Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, met with Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, on February 14, 2020 in Munich in Bavaria, in the context of the 56th Munich Safety Conference, even though their first personal meeting, although not official, had taken place on the occasion of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization in New York in 2019. It should be noted that both meetings took place in the context of multilateral diplomatic meetings in favor of global peace and security, thus seeking to pick up on even the slightest signal to foster and sustain the culture of encounter and dialogue.

As was made public by the Holy See, the two diplomats acknowledged the contact between the two parties that had developed positively over time during the meeting that took place in Germany. On that occasion, the desire to pursue the bilateral dialogue at the institutional level fostering the life of the Catholic Church and the good of the Chinese people was reiterated. In addition, the hope was expressed that increased international cooperation would promote civil co-existence and peace in the world and they exchanged considerations regarding intercultural dialogue and human rights. In particular, the importance of the Provisional Agreement regarding the appointment of Bishops, which has now been renewed, was highlighted with the hope that its fruits might grow on the basis of the experience gained over the first two years of it being in force.

Regarding the results achieved so far, on the basis of the regulatory framework established by the Agreement, two Bishops have been appointed (His Excellency Antonio Yao Shun, Diocese of Jining, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and His Excellency Stefano Xu Hongwei, Diocese of Hanzhong, Shaanxi Province), while various other processes for new episcopal appointments are in the process, some at the initial stage, others in more advanced stages. Even though, statistically speaking, these results may not seem to be that great, nevertheless they represent a good start, in the hope that other positive goals might be progressively reached. It cannot be overlooked that in recent months the entire world has been practically paralyzed by the health crisis that has influenced both life and activity in almost all sectors of both public and private life. The same reality has obviously influenced regular contact between the Holy See and the Chinese government as well as the implementation of the Provisional Agreement.

The application of the Agreement, with an effective and progressively more active participation of the Chinese Episcopate is, therefore, of great importance for the life of the Catholic Church in China and, as a consequence, for the universal Church. It is also in that context that the pastoral objective of the Holy See can be situated: to help Chinese Catholics, who have long been internally divided, to manifest signs of reconciliation, collaboration and unity for a renewed and more effective proclamation of the Gospel in China. In a Letter dated September 26, 2018, the Pope had entrusted in a particular way to the Catholic community in China – to the bishops, priests, men and women religious, and lay faithful – the commitment to live love for one another in an authentic spirit, expressing it through concrete actions so as to help overcome misunderstandings, giving witness to their own faith and genuine love. It must be acknowledged that there are still many situations causing serious suffering. The Holy See is very much aware of them, is taking them into account and does not fail to draw them to the attention of the Chinese government so that religious freedom might be truly exercised. There is still a long and difficult road ahead.

Trusting completely in the Lord of history who unfailingly guides His Church and in the maternal intercession of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sheshan, the Holy See entrusts this delicate and important step to the gracious support and, above all, to the prayers of all Catholics, and hopes that with this contact and dialogue with the People’s Republic of China, which has matured to the point of the signing of the Provisional Agreement on the appointment of Bishops and its renewal today, that they might contribute to the resolution of the matters of common interest that are still open, in particular, those touching the life of the Catholic community in China, as well as the promotion of an international vision of peace, in a moment in which we are experiencing numerous tensions on an  international level.

(This is an unofficial working translation of the Italian original.)




Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother,
venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title "Help of Christians",
the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection.
We come before you today to implore your protection.
Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them
along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.

When you obediently said "yes" in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.
You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross.
Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.
Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,
who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love.
May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world,
and of the world to Jesus.
In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.
Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.
Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!


Special Prayers to Saint Pope John Paul II with Litany and Novena to the Beloved JP2


Biography: John Paul was Born in Poland as Karol - May 18, 1920, Ordained a Priest - November 1, 1946, Ordained a Bishop - Sept 28, 1958, Elected Pope - October 16, 1978, Entered Eternal Life - April 2, 2005
Beatified - May 1, 2011, Feast Day: October 22

NOVENA TO SAINT JOHN PAUL II - Say these Prayers for 9 Days:

Priest: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
People: Amen

Priest: O Lord, open my lips.

People: And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.Priest: O God come to my assistance.
People: O Lord, make haste to help me.

Priest: Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
People: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end, AMEN

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Pray: 1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory Be

Litany to Saint John Paul II
(Leader in plain font; Responses in BOLD)

Kyrie eleison; Kyrie eleison
Christe eleison; Christe eleison
Kyrie eleison; Kyrie eleison
Christ hear us, Christ graciously hear us
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Servant of God, John Paul II, pray for us
Perfect disciple of Christ, pray for us
Generously gifted with the gifts of the Holy Spirit; pray for us
Great apostle of Divine Mercy; pray for us
Faithful Son of Mary; pray for us
Totally dedicated to the Mother of God; pray for us
Persevering preacher of the Gospel; pray for us
Pilgrim Pope; pray for us
Pope of the Millennium; pray for us
Model of industry; pray for us
Model of priests; pray for us
Drawing strength from the Eucharist; pray for us
Untiring man of prayer; pray for us
Lover of the rosary; pray for us
Strength of those doubting their faith; pray for us
Desiring to unite all those who believe in Christ; pray for us
Converter of sinners; pray for us
Defender of the dignity of every person; pray for us
Defender of life from conception to natural death; pray for us
Praying for the gift of parenthood for the infertile; pray for us
Friend of children; pray for us
Leader of youth; pray for us
Intercessor of families, pray for us
Comforter of the suffering; pray for us
Manly bearing his pain; pray for us
Sower of divine joy; pray for us
Great intercessor for peace; pray for us
Pride of the Polish nation; pray for us
Brilliance of the Holy Church; pray for us
That we may be faithful imitators of Christ; pray for us
That we may be strong with the power of the Holy Spirit; pray for us
That we may have trust in the Mother of God; pray for us
That we may grow in our faith, hope, and charity; pray for us
That we may live in peace in our families; pray for us
That we may know how to forgive; pray for us
That we may know how to bear suffering; pray for us
That we may not succumb to the culture of death; pray for us
That we may not be afraid and courageously fight off various temptations; pray for us
That he would intercede for us the grace of a happy death; pray for us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
Pray for us, Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ


O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will the graces we implore, especially for [PAUSE TO ADD YOUR INTENTION] . . . we ask this, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Make the Sign of the Cross as you say


Saint John Paul II - PRAY FOR US!